(Article written by Josh Horton/Associate Minister at Good News)
I remember as a teenager traveling with my family to Swansboro, NC to spend a few days fishing. At night, this quaint beach town looked like it was entirely abandoned. One year, in particular though, the town held a massive display of fireworks. It was the first time for me actually seeing a genuine fireworks show. The explosive sounds and array of bright colors was a sight to behold. Of course, just setting off one firework doesn't do much for entertainment. From the time it is shot up into the air, to when it disappears into the night sky, only about 5-8 seconds transpires.
I have known of some Christians who are like fireworks. Filled with emotion and grand goals, they explode on the scene declaring their desire to serve others and grow in Christ, but in a short amount of time, their devotion fizzles out. They start off strong, but either end up depressed, exhausted, or apathetic. I know this, because I have seen such behavior in my own life. Sometimes it is because one mentally paints a pretty picture of how things will turn out, not realizing that pain is embedded all across the road of Christian growth. Sometimes it is because one expects instant spiritual success, not understanding that there is a call to walk in joyful patience. Finally, there are many who seek to light the world in their own power. They don't look at themselves as a vessel, but an engine, forgetting that the only good and only real power in anyone is what Jesus gives.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (ESV).”A candle doesn't look fancy. You will not see crowds gather to watch it burn, but even just a small candle can last over 25 hours. I want to burn brightly for Christ, but more than that, I want to burn faithfully. Let go of misguided, religious sensationalism and realize that to be a true light to the world, we need to humbly yield, joyfully obey, and patiently follow the Father of lights (James 1:17).